Seattle Web Design: 5 Powerful Website Trends of 2017

The way you design your web structure and layout has a significant role in attracting leads to your website and creating conversions. Most visitors determine the capacity and reliability of a business within seconds of viewing your web pages. This calls for creating a website that is attractive to the audience and delivers quality content to their satisfaction. If you need to change your brand or make updates to your website, our team here at Fannit will be able to help you. Also, acquaint yourself with the latest Google updates will prove very useful in creating an effective website.

website trends 2017

Seattle Web Design: 5 Trends of 2017

With the changes in time and development of new layouts and designs, some features have emerged that can boost the ranking of your page and encourage a higher rate of conversion. To make your website more attractive, memorable, and improve the conversion rate, here are 5 Powerful Website Trends of 2017 you should know about.

Responsive

Web designers, over the past few years, have faced both challenges and opportunities with the explosion of technology. One major problem has been the development of varying screen sizes for large screen TVs, smartphones, and tablets. This has compelled designers to find a way for web pages to fit varying screen sizes depending on the user devices. Having a responsive design allows the user to browse comfortably regardless of the display size used.

Having a responsive design allows the contents of your site to expand or shrink to fit the screen size used by the site visitor. This design trend allows users to navigate your website with ease, increasing the chances of visitors becoming leads and your website ranking in search engine result pages.

A lack of responsiveness forces visitors to manually resize the structure to view the whole page. The extra effort that users are subjected to can cause you to not lose a lot of potential leads, as users don’t want to put up with the extra hassle to view your web content. Embracing this powerful website trend will put you at an advantage in the highly competitive internet market. Google has begun penalizing websites that are not mobile-friendly. A lack of mobile-friendliness will result in a significant drop in the ranking of your page via mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Check how user-friendly your site is using this [checker tool provided by Google]

Minimalism

A good first impression is what every website owner desires to give their viewers. This determines the amount of time the user spends on your site, if they will convert to leads, and if they will return or share your web pages. Intricate and busy designs are perceived as unkempt and messy, and the user will feel like they need to do extra work to get what they want from the site, and go elsewhere.

Designing your site with a one dimensional appearance is more attractive than three-dimensional website designs. Using a flat style with beautiful colors has the potential to make information readily available and attract more viewers, resulting in higher conversion rates. Given its effectiveness, expect this design to be more popular in 2017.

Scroll, Not Click

With the continued growth in the number of smartphone users, sites should be designed to be navigated comfortably from phones. This is one excellent way to make a great first impression and keep users on your site. With a scroll, not click design, users will not be required to click or push buttons on their little screens. A design that allows users just to scroll through makes it way simpler to convey information to the audience.

This feature eliminates the need for users to squint their eyes and tap on the small, delicate buttons. It allows users to leisurely scroll through your site enjoying the experience all the way. This design puts the most prominent information at the top of the home page then make the rest easily accessible, increasing user experience and engagement with your site.

Pictures and Videos

The human eye is readily attracted to images whether still or moving. This makes pictures one of the great tools and one of the 5 most powerful website trends of 2017. Pictures not only add a sophisticated touch to your site, but also communicate a sense of quality and cleanliness. Pictures are way more entertaining compared to plain words used on web pages.

With pictures, designers can direct users to specific sections of web content. Users quickly notice the eyes of the people in the images and where they are looking. This can be used to your advantage, for example, inserting an image of a person looking at the Call To Action or in the direction of some relevant information.

One quick and easy way to inform your users is by using videos on your site. With just a click, the user can access audibly and visibly the information you have to share and what your business offers. Watching a video is far more appealing than reading text.

Card Design

From the basic design stage of a website, there is a trend in 2017 where designers can now display information in an attractive and simplistic manner. Using the card design divides the site into card-like sections, with each containing some attractive image or a short title describing the section the card links to. By selecting the desired card, the user will be directed to the right information that interests them.

With such a simple, attractive and intriguing design, the user’s eyes will be drawn to the page. Large images have a way of making users click on them, are easy to deal with, and provide an easy way to organize information, making it fast for the user to access. This has the potential of yielding big results for website conversions.

Stand Out Among the Competition

With an increasing number of businesses creating and maintaining their websites, being competitive in your niche is a must. A website with poor visuals that lacks responsiveness and presents difficulty in navigation will work against the business since viewers will be turned away faster than they came in. These 5 Powerful Website Trends of 2017 are imperative for any website.

If starting and maintaining a successful website is more than you can chew, consider outsourcing it to experts like the team at Fannit who are reliable inbound marketers. We are the experts in maintaining your website to ensure attractiveness and relevance to draw in leads and grow your businesses.

9 SEO Hacks For Optimizing Your Blog Content

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has evolved to become one of the best online marketing tools because it’s easy to implement, more cost effective than most marketing tools, and the best way to drive online traffic to a website. Despite there being many other online marketing tools, SEO is the most effective of them all – but only if it’s done the right way.

optimizing blog posts

Optimize Your Blog With These 9 SEO Hacks

Many bloggers often find themselves wondering why their blogs are ranking low despite the fact that their pages are fully optimized. Often this is because they did not in fact optimize correctly, or used outdated SEO practices. With SEO, you need to be in tune with search engine updates, trends, and changes that greatly affect search page rankings. Below are nine great SEO hacks on how to optimize your blog pages for SEO.

1. Concentrate On 1-2 Long-tail Keywords

Contrary to popular belief, SEO is not just about stuffing your blog content with keywords. In fact, nowadays that practice can lead to penalties due to keyword stuffing on your blog. Stuffing also reduces the quality of content you provide your users with – you may end up scaring away your visitors instead of keeping them engaged. Good SEO practices dictate that keywords should be well placed and naturally fitted into the blog page’s text. Focusing your posts on one or two keywords make the text entertaining, sensible, readable and natural. Using long-tail keywords often guarantees you the right audience; all you have to do is to use the right keywords.

2. Strategically Place Keywords In The Blog Post

Using the right keywords and placing them naturally is not enough to fully optimize your blog content. You also need to know where to place the keywords. Search engines usually look for them in specific areas of the text. Therefore, you need to make sure you include the keywords in these parts of your posts. Some of the best places to include your keywords include the page title, meta descriptions, headers, headlines, body, and the URL. These are the parts of a post that search engines mostly focus on.

3. Device Compatibility: Is Your Blog Mobile Friendly?

In an effort to make their users comfortable and to provide convenience, Search Engines nowadays take device compatibility very seriously. If your blog isn’t mobile friendly, you will miss out on the millions – if not billions – of mobile device searches that are done on a daily basis. To ensure that your blog taps into the massive pool of mobile device traffic, you need to make sure that your blog is designed to accommodate small mobile device screens comfortably – in other terms, your blog needs to be responsive.

4. Ensure That Your Meta Descriptions are Optimized

Meta descriptions are the short pieces of text that are usually displayed on the Search Engine Results Page just below a site’s URL. They give the reader a brief overview of the contents they can expect to find if they choose to click on the URL. Meta Descriptions contribute a lot to the user’s decision-making process. Therefore, they need to be short, catchy, relevant and, most importantly, fully optimized. This assures the web user that the blog post has exactly what they are looking for.

5. Images Can and Should Also Be Optimized

Did you know you can optimize your blog by ensuring that images are optimized too? The images used in a blog post are often focused on providing the user with a graphical concept of the idea being passed on. For instance: if your blog is about food recipes, including images of the ingredients and the final product of the cooked item helps your readers to easily understand the whole process.

How do you optimize a picture on your blog post? Optimization involves using relevant keywords on your image’s HTML “alt” text as shown below;
Inserting your keywords into the alt text of an image helps search engines to know what the image is about hence boosting your image search ranking for that specific keyword.

6. Avoid Overusing Topic Tags

Using the same topic tags extensively is quite similar to keyword stuffing, and can result in penalties by search engines. In such a case, search engines may assume that you are using duplicate content on your blog. Unfortunately, this can be an honest mistake, and most of us only learn about it when it’s too late.Thankfully, it can be easily fixed. Fix your blog content simply by reducing the redundancies. Advisably, you should come up with 15 to 25 topic tags that you can prioritize on without causing any repetition.

7. Inserting Keywords Into The URL Is An Invaluable SEO Hack

Apart from the meta description, web users also look at the post’s URL. URLs that contain keywords usually make it easier for the user and search engines to understand what your blog content is all about. Unfortunately, URLs can only accommodate short keywords; therefore, you need to make sure that you use the right keywords in your URLs. Remember that the words you use on your URLs need to be relevant to the content to avoid causing confusion.

8. Embrace The Power Of Internal Links

While it’s true that inbound links form a critical part of the optimization process, did you know that internal links can also help boost your SEO ranks? Internal links are links that point to other pages of your blog. They are easy to implement and, aside from improving your SEO status, they also make it easy for visitors and readers to go through other useful and related articles on your blog. This increases your blog’s informational value to the users as well as improving the ranking of your other posts.

9. Remember To Use The Google Search Console

During the SEO process, free tools like Google’s Search Console often come in handy. Here, you’ll have access to the Search Analytics Report containing useful information about the clicks made on Google Search, which keywords are the most popular, and so much more. With this information in hand, tailoring your blog content to meet online search demands will be easy and achievable – plus it will boost your overall ranking.

Begin Optimizing Today

These 9 tips and tricks will help you SEO your blog posts efficiently, but you should always remember that building an authoritative online presence does not happen overnight. It is a gradual process that – if done right – can be of great benefit to you and your blog in the long run. Avoid taking SEO shortcuts because some if not most of them often lead to stiff penalties that will cost you in the long run.

Will your business benefit from proper SEO? Find out by getting a FREE SEO Analysis from our SEO team at Fannit.

5 Beginner Growth Hacks to Understanding SEO

5 Beginner Growth Hacks to Understanding SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization – we’ve all heard this term being used at countless digital marketing events or when we talk about launching a new website or the performance of an existing one. What exactly is SEO and why does it seem so important to internet marketers

Search Engine Optimization is the process of influencing the ranking or visibility of a website or web page in the non-paid search results of a search engine – Google, Bing, and Yahoo being the preferred search engines among internet users

Being #1 Matters!

From the consumers’ (in our case, internet search users’) point of view, the first few results returned by a search engine in response to a search query are the most relevant and generate the most traffic. The key is to not only make your website search engine friendly but also providing quality content to visitors for retaining the traffic generated towards the site. So how do we ensure effective optimization of our website? It is pertinent that we look at certain aspects of SEO in order to ensure the visibility and traffic of our site multiplies

1. On-Page SEO:

This mainly covers the content of the web pages, how targeted they are towards relevant keywords and the kind of quality and user-friendly experience they provide to visitors

Reference: MOZ According to Google’s Search Engine Optimization Guide, there are a number of basic things that can be done:

  • Create unique, accurate page titles – it appears in the search results as the topic of a web page
  • Be precise in describing the page’s content – make sure it connects with the title
  • Generate distinct title tags for each page – a single title may narrow the focus of search engines
  • Titles should ideally be brief but descriptive – search engines may show only part of it if it’s too long
  • Be meticulous about the description’ meta tag
  • Gives a summary of what the page is about – maybe a short paragraph
  • Search engines may use them as bits to describe your page
  • Gives users an idea about the content of the page
  • Improve the structure of URLs
  • Use simple to understand and relevant words in URLs
  • URLs appear in search results and may help in a higher page ranking in search results
  • Improve the structure of URLs
  • Make a user-friendly website
  • Be sure to offer quality content and services
  • Optimize use of images using the alt’ attribute that allows alternative text for the image in case it cannot be displayed
  • Use rel’ attribute of a link to ”Nofollow” for links that you do not want search engines to follow
  • Proper configuration of mobile sites is essential so they are indexed accurately
  • Promotion of website in the right way – on social media or site related communities

2. Google’s Search Console

Contains Search Analytics Report that analyzes clicks from Google Search, useful to find out keywords used by users to find content related to your site

Reference: Google Search Console

3. Off-Page SEO:

It basically means what other sites say about our website. Organic links with important and preferred websites inspire the trust of search engines to your website.

Reference: Link Building Guide To comprehend simply, consider that you’re a wholesaler of clothes but retailers do not visit and would rather buy from somewhere else because your designs are out-dated. You are a forgotten entity. On the other hand, the neighboring wholesaler has hoards of retailers flocked inside his shop; the word of mouth is strong and attracts more customers for him because he carries the latest designs and trends. With websites, it helps a lot when you link other pages internally on your website. If you shared or posted a topic you wrote on your website on another website or blog, it is pertinent that you link to that page. seo for beginners

4. Website Speed

The basics are relatively simple and are focused towards the structure and content of your website. This is a little bit of the technical side of SEO. You need not worry seeing the word technical’ here. It does not refer to some complicated procedures relating to SEO but rather refers to what needs to be done after the content is developed. We’re living in a perpetually changing world of technological advances where it is the need of the hour to stay up-to-date with the shifting work dynamics, especially the way SEO works, which is continuously evolving. As search engines become more refined, the technical aspects of SEO are also changing.

There are certain factors you need to be aware of to improve your website’s speed:

  1. Internet users are looking for quick information. They lose interest and close a website that loads slowly and moves on to check other search results. This is called Pogo-sticking. It shows the search engines that a user wasn’t satisfied with the site and repeats instances of this scenario lead to a drop in ranking.
  2. TTFB (time to the first byte), which is the time required for the first byte of a web page data to load is directly proportional to rankings. Hence, the slower the TTFB, the lower the ranking of the website.

Some factors that affect website speeds are more common than others of which the following rank at the top:

  • Un-optimized images
  • Content without HTTP compression
  • A number of CSS image requests
  • Missing caching information

5. Top things Businesses are Missing with Their Website!

This was based on an analysis of the top 1000 Alexa ranked websites.

  • Importance of mobile friendliness: With the focus shifting towards increased Smartphone and mobile users, it is essential that your site is mobile friendly or it could lead to a drop in rankings
  • A clear and targeted site structural design: It aids Google in indexing your pages and ranking them faster
  • Be wary of page redirects: While page redirects are sometimes needed to keep a site up to date, we need to be cautious that we do not confuse the search engine. Redirects are permanent and temporary. Permanent ones are simple and search engines transfer the authority of the same easily. However, in a temporary one, the search engine does not transfer the authority and if the redirect stays for a longer time, it may result in your site losing part of your traffic.

The thing is; SEO requires time, focus and strong dedication. Blog posts will hardly ever rank right away. But by using SEO best practices and constantly optimizing pages for search, using the right keywords and maintaining site content quality, your website would soon generate more traffic and attain a higher ranking in search engines.

7 Ways a Local Business Can Improve in Search Rankings

If any local business owner were asked whether or not they would like to get more customers, the answer would be a given – yes!

Running a successful brick and mortar business is difficult. You might have a great customer base who regularly buy your product or services, but it’s important to make sure that fresh new business is always coming in. For business owners or marketing managers, it takes a lot of effort to keep your local internet presence maintained with content, reviews, SEO, and social media.

In fact, maybe that’s an aspect you haven’t really looked at and assumed that the expense of hiring an agency to do it would never pan out.

keyword-research-seo-services-seattleThis is where local businesses actually have an opportunity to really shine online – if they approach outsourced marketing the right way – with a focus on tracking sales… and this is key.

If you’re thinking that this sounds like more work, don’t worry. This is something that a good marketing company will be able to help you handle. And, in the end, you’ll be able to relax more because you know that your campaign is generating a true ROI.

Here are the key search ranking tactics that an outsourced marketing agency can help local businesses with.

1. Research for the Right Keywords

Not all keywords are created equal. Because of this, you’ll need to know what keywords your customers use to find you.

For example, if you own a law firm in Seattle, Washington that specializes in personal injury, then seattle personal injury lawyer would be an important keyword theme to focus on.

Here’s another example. If you are a plastic surgeon in the Seattle area, then you would want to look at ranking around the keyword theme plastic surgery Seattle.

Ranking for these different keyword themes can take a significant amount of time and effort, but the amount that it will require for you depends on the industry you’re in. If you’re in a major city and you are in the medical profession, it will take more work to rank well than if you were focusing on a suburb.

Because of this, a good marketing company may not necessarily go after keywords this difficult right at the beginning. Instead, they’ll bring in sales by going after low hanging fruit – keywords that are longer, easier to rank for, but that are highly relevant to bringing in potential customers. A good example of this would be a keyword like local cosmetic surgeon bellevue.

For more reading, check out this article on What is a Good Keyword, Anyway?

seo-target-audience-seo-company-seattle

2. Developing the right content, consistently… for the right audience.

It’s a given that you will need high quality content. Google takes things like grammar and how well it’s connecting with your visitors into account.

For your company, content will be critical for both visitors and search engines. Here’s a great article on optimizing your content for search engines and your audience.

A good marketing company will ask you questions about your audience and help develop buyer personas for your company. This way, your content will specifically be targeted to reach who you want to reach.

It’s important to note that, not only does Google want to see good content, it also likes to see it consistently. It tells them that you are a good resource for your industry and are likely more relevant than your competitors.

3. Getting Google Local Setup

Google local optimization takes getting in front of local traffic to the next level. In this case, Google will show a “7 pack” of businesses that are relevant, local, and often have reviews. Getting this local recognition is generally due to building out local citations by an SEO. These local signals show Google that you’re relevant and legitimate – and worth recommending in their local 7-Pack listings.

This allows you to showcase how well you serve your clients and what you offer right from the search engine itself.

local-seo-marketing-company-seattle

4. Creating or claiming your local listings

Local listings can consist of local directories or review websites. For local optimization, it’s important to claim these listings for your business – as long as they are quality and relevant. If you’re not sure what a citation is, just click the link above.

Citations are important because Google takes them into account when they measure how relevant you are to a local area and keyword. A good marketing agency will be able to help you get these claimed, uniform, and optimized correctly for your local market.

Social profiles would also be included in this. For local optimization, it’s also important that your social profiles match, and are optimized. This means including your physical location, business or store name, and your website URL. Again, consistency is important.

5. Get genuine reviews

We’ve run the gamut as far as review campaigns are concerned. In fact, a couple of years ago Google went through and cleaned out entire Google Local profiles and deleted them because of fake reviews. This severely impacted several businesses who relied primarily on local leads.

Even though testimonials can be difficult to get at times, a good marketing agency will be able to help you develop a consistent campaign that drips in leads from your customer base.

6. Reaching out

It’s important to reach out locally. This will provide more opportunities for your business to get talked about and linked to online. Reaching out to local bloggers and incorporating Press Releases can be a great way to get into your community.

Even though it’s not online marketing specifically, doing sponsorships or hosting networking events can open up some online opportunities as well.

optimize-mobile-seo-marketing-seattle

7. Optimize For Mobile

Mobile use is huge and it’s growing – which makes it even more important for local businesses to develop a mobile responsive website.

This is different than having just a “mobile” website though. Because of the sheer amount of variation between screen sizes, being responsive is key. It allows you to optimize their experience to the screen they are on.

Analyze and monitor your results

A good marketing company will help you go over your results and tie them to actual sales.

We call this process “closing the loop.” Here’s what it allows us to learn:

  1. What of your marketing channels are most efficient
  2. Which buyer persona is most profitable for you
  3. Your current cost per sale & lead
  4. How to optimize your campaign for maximum ROI

Have questions? Give us a call or schedule a free SEO assessment – we’d love to help!

Seattle Web Design: 5 Powerful Website Trends of 2015

The design, structure, and layout of your website plays a major role in attracting leads and creating conversions. Many people determine the reliability and capability of a business within seconds of viewing a page of their website. Because of this, it is important that your website be one that attracts the eye and conveys capability to your viewers.

If you’re looking to change your brand or update your website, connect with our Seattle Web Design Company.  Also, be sure to read about the latest Google update coming on April 21st (I mention this in the next section of this article).

seattle web design

 

As times change and new layouts are attempted, designs with certain features have risen to the top, as they have shown to be more attractive to visitors. To help boost your lead conversion rate and make your website memorable, here is our list of 7 upcoming web design trends that you need to know about.

Responsive

With the explosion of technology over the past few decades comes both challenges and opportunities for web designers. With the varying screen sizes, from smart phones and tablets to big screen TVs, designers have had to come up with a way to ensure all users can comfortably surf the web from any of these devices.

A responsive web structure allows the content of your site to shift, expand, shrink, and move to fit the size of the screen used by the viewer. This capability allows users to easily navigate to your website and browse your content from any device, increasing their chances of becoming a lead.

A site that lacks a responsive layout requires viewers to pull and drag the structure around the screen to see different parts of the web page. A non-responsive structure requires that the viewer put extra effort into viewing your websites content. This puts your business at serious risk of losing potential leads simply because viewers do not want the hassle of navigating your website. Embracing this latest feature in web design will keep you in the competition.

Major Update: As of April 21st 2015 Google is going to be penalizing website that are not mobile friendly. To check to see if Google sees your website as mobile friendly use Google’s provided checker tool here. If you’re website is not mobile friendly you will experience a drastic drop in rankings via mobile devices. You can learn more about this update from Google here.

Minimalism

When a viewer first opens up your website, you want to make a good first impression. Complex, intricate, and busy designs have been used by numerous websites over time, and have shown to have a very poor return on investment (ROI). Viewers usually perceive the site as messy, unkempt, and feel that it will require extra time and effort to find the information they’re looking for.

So they look elsewhere.

web design agency seattle

The latest design development shows that sites with a one dimensional appearance are far more attractive to users than those with three dimensions. A flat style that uses attractive colors and makes prominent information readily available has shown to attract more viewers and potential leads. Due to the effective results this layout produces, expect to see it used more and more in 2015.

Scroll, No Click

As the use of smartphones becomes more and more common place, creating a site that is comfortably navigated from a phone is a great way to make good impression. Instead of requiring users to click or push buttons on a little screen, web designers have found that developing a structure which allows the users to simply scroll through information is a far simpler way of conveying the same information.

Instead of squinty eyes and delicate finger tapping, viewers can leisurely scroll through your website. Putting prominent information at the top of your home page and making the rest easy to access will open up another avenue through which potential customers can contact you.

Pictures and Videos

Pictures are a great tool for attracting and directing the eyes of your users. Not only can great images add a sophisticated touch to your website, they communicate a sense of cleanliness and quality service. They are also far more entertaining to users than words on a webpage.

Pictures are often used by designers to direct users to certain sections of content on a website. If people are in an image on your website, users are quick to notice two things: the eyes of the people in the image, and where their eyes are looking. Designers will often use this to their advantage by inserting images of people looking toward a Call To Action, or facing the direction of important information.

seattle website design company

Videos are also a quick and easy way to inform your users. With one click, viewers have the opportunity to visibly and audibly takes in all that your business is, and what it can provide. Viewers are far more likely to watch a video than read through lines of text.

Card Design

When designing basic structure of a website, designers have found a method of displaying information that users find very attractive. The Card Design is a method of designing that divides the website into card like sections, each containing an attractive image or title describing the content to which it links. Selecting a desired card or a particular section of the screen will take that user to the information they are interested in.

The simple layout with large attractive images is intriguing to the eyes and draws a user into the page. They immediately begin looking for the card that would provide exactly the information they need. Creating the proper cards to provide the right information for your visitors is a necessary step of the process, but one that has the potential of yielding big results. A website that is easy to navigate while simultaneously providing what users want will bring you one step closer to getting more leads.

Many business have taken the uncomfortable step of starting and maintaining a website. While this is a good first step, a website with poor visuals, no responsiveness, and difficult navigation will turn viewers away faster than you can imagine.

If starting and maintaining a website seems like more than you can handle, consider outsourcing it to a reliable inbound marketing agency. Here at Fannit, one of our specialities is helping our clients maintain a relevant and attractive website to help draw in leads for their businesses.

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